Catherine Ryan Hyde is one of my most reliable authors. Without fail, her stories make you feel. Their characters are so real and appealing that you can’t help but root for them. Her newest book is no exception.
Worthy is his name, but that wasn’t always the case. Once upon a time, not so very long ago, he went by the name of T-Rex. I know, that’s not a very practical name for a dog. But there’s rationale behind it. Anyway, he once belonged to a woman who loved him very much. But there was a man, a not-so-very-nice man who didn’t want to compete with a dog. So he was dropped off, destined to freeze to death.
But a young man found him and saved him. Or did he actually save the young man? It seems as if they both needed each other at the same time. Through this one not-so-extraordinary dog, two people find each other again.
Never fear, this isn’t a love story. Not really, at least. It’s more than that. It’s the story of a tragic ending to what might have been. And it’s the story of friendship and connection many years later. It’s the story of people helping each other get over their fears and their weaknesses. And it’s not really so much about the dog. Worthy just becomes the key that unlocks the past for both the woman and the young man.
This is a story that’s both sweet and sad. Things don’t end perfectly and happily ever after, but life seldom does. It’s a story that will leave you satisfied, and your heart will be a bit fuller.
Buy It Now: Worthy
Whenever I’m talking books with someone, there are a select few that I always feel the need to push. Wonder, Out of My Mind, Counting by 7s, The Book Thief…these are some of the ones I label as “Oh my gosh, you have got to read this one!” This newest book from Ann M. Martin makes that elite list.
Meet Rose, a young girl who’s just a little bit different. On the high end of the autism scale, she’s also obsessed with many different things-prime numbers, following the rules, and above all else, homonyms. She even keeps an ongoing list of homonyms she discovers. Needless to say, these are things that don’t exactly endear her to her classmates. While the ostracizing never quite reaches the level found in some other books of this genre, it’s still enough to make her feel like an outcast. She’s also dealing with the disappearance of her mother as well as life with a dad who borders on being verbally abusive and neglectful. One of the few bright spots in Rose’s life is her Uncle Walden who tries to act as a buffer between Rose and her dad.
And then, of course, there’s Rain. She’s Rose’s constant companion, her confidant, the soft spot in an otherwise sharp-edged world. She provides comfort and much needed stability to Rose. No matter how loud-bright-harsh the outside world is, Rain is there to soothe her. But when Rain is lost during a storm and then miraculously found, Rose’s strict adherence to “the rules” force her to make a very tough decision.
Rose is a character who will break your heart while at the same time giving you hope. She’s honest and straight forward while at the same time seemingly immune to what others think of her. The story evokes such emotion from the reader. Sadness for Rose, concern for Rain, and finally admiration for Rose and the challenges and decisions she faces. Ann M. Martin has written a winner with this one. Likely most well-know for her Babysitter’s Club series from many years back, this one puts her into a whole new category for me. While fans of that series will definitely appreciate this story as well, it’s in an entirely different league, destined to go down as one of those books that most, if not all, young people are familiar with. Five plus stars for me!
Buy it Now: Rain Reign